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October 1st, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I was 14 years old when JEOPARDY! first appeared on TV. I was a regular, and my favourite category, aside from Sports, was Potpourri. Today’s blog, after another sabbatical, is some potpourri.

Travel medicine continues to be plagued by vaccine shortages… not just for yellow fever, but also typhoid, Twinrix (hepatitis A and B) and rabies. Yellow fever vaccine is being doled out in fractions, according to my past blogs. Organizing travelers who need, or might want, or might not want, the yellow fever vaccine is no easy matter.

The world isn’t growing any more countries or mountains or ancient ruins. So people continue to be off to the usual destinations, Peru and Machu Picchu with a dip in the Amazon, southern Africa including Kruger National Park, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe (someone brought be the lovely gift of a tick, which he had found on his ….), and Southeast Asia including Thailand, Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam.

Many of the same issues popup every day, including:

  • do I really need that typhoid shot
  • I hear the antimalarials make you psychotic
  • I can’t remember whether I got the booster
  • my brother-in-law had the shot downtown
  • isn’t it better just to let the diarrhea run its course
  • is there anything other than DEET

…. and much more.

Some people have called enquiring about a new “super-resistant” malaria in Southeast Asia. To read more about, read this. To clarify, the strain of P. falciparum malaria in the Mekong region is resistant to certain treatments, but not to prophylaxis with either Malarone or doxycycline. The majority of travelers to this region are at very low risk of contracting malaria.

We may not be out of the woods yet with Zika in the Caribbean and Latin America, but it seems to have declined. The 2/6 rules continue to be in place (see CDC), that is, if you are travelling there, do not plan to become pregnant for 2 months (for women), and don’t plan to impregnate someone for 6 months (for men).

On a personal note, I continue to study jazz piano. If you would like to hear my teacher, Brian Rudolf, plan Tuesday night dinner at Santo’s Restaurant in Thornhill.

Once again, I made a whirlwind trip to Ottawa with my children, this time Benjamin, who his 35, and his son Jonah, who is 4. After a lovely train ride from Kingston to Ottawa, we quickly got ensconced in The Chateau Laurier Hotel (paid for with Aeroplan points), and in 24 short hours, visited Parliament Hill where we tossed the baseball, The Pirate Adventure at Mooney’s Bay, Byward Market for a pizza and a Beavertail, the piano bar at The Chateau, and The Museum of Natural History. That is Karsh’s magnificent portrait of Churchill in the background. I highly recommend this trip for everyone. No shots needed!


I will stop there for now. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


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